In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Bush Administration officials James Connaughton and Daniel Price outline the Bush Administration's approach to climate change policy and how it measures up to the "Bali Roadmap."
The U.S. is committed to working with other nations to agree on a global outcome that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable. That is the only kind of agreement that can win public support.
To be environmentally effective, a new approach must involve measurable actions by the world's largest producers of greenhouse-gas emissions. Without substantial participation by developing economies, greenhouse-gas emissions will continue to rise rapidly over the next 50 years even if the U.S. and other developed economies cut emissions to zero.
To be economically sustainable, our actions must uphold the hopes of people everywhere for economic growth, energy security and improved quality of life. Lowering the cost of emissions reductions requires speeding up the development and deployment of technologies that will fundamentally improve the way we produce and consume energy. This includes the capture and storage of carbon emitted from coal-power plants. . . .
The major economies plan to meet again at the end of January to discuss a work program that contributes to the Bali Roadmap. Such a program should include discussion of a long-term, global emissions-reduction goal as well as national plans with mid-term goals — backed by a nationally appropriate mix of regulations, incentives and public-private partnerships. It would also include cooperative technology strategies and other actions in key sectors, especially fossil-power generation, personal transportation and sustainable forest management.
The program should cover innovative financing mechanisms and the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers for clean energy goods and services, improved emissions-accounting systems, and ways to help countries adapt to climate change and gain access to technology. It would be useful to discuss how to structure a post-2012 arrangement that would incorporate positive, not punitive, ways to ensure accountability and encourage participation by all major economies — developed and developing alike. We hope these discussions can produce tangible outcomes that can be endorsed at a major economies leaders meeting later this year.